Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center - The University of Texas at Austin information

 Native Plant Database

Clematis drummondii

Old man's beard, Drummond's clematis, Texas virgin's bower, Goat's beard

Ranunculaceae (Buttercup Family)

Clematis drummondii (Old man's beard)
Kline, Kimberly
This is a climbing vine that covers fences and shrubs. Leaves are opposite and compound, with 57 leaflets 1/21 inch long, coarsely cut, sometimes toothed. The 4 petal-like sepals are light greenish-yellow, almost white, narrow and thin, with margins slightly crinkled, 1/21 inch long. There are no petals. The stamens are quite conspicuous. When the seeds mature, the female vine is covered with great masses of silky, feathery plumes, 24 inches long, which grow out from the seed cover. Male and female flowers on different plants.

The species name of this plant is named for Thomas Drummond, (ca. 1790-1835), naturalist, born in Scotland, around 1790. In 1830 he made a trip to America to collect specimens from the western and southern United States. In March, 1833, he arrived at Velasco, Texas to begin his collecting work in that area. He spent twenty-one months working the area between Galveston Island and the Edwards Plateau, especially along the Brazos, Colorado, and Guadalupe rivers. His collections were the first made in Texas that were extensively distributed among the museums and scientific institutions of the world. He collected 750 species of plants and 150 specimens of birds. Drummond had hoped to make a complete botanical survey of Texas, but he died in Havana, Cuba, in 1835, while making a collecting tour of that island.

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Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Vine
Leaf Retention: Deciduous
Leaf Arrangement: Opposite
Leaf Complexity: Pinnate
Breeding System: Flowers Unisexual , Dioecious
Size Notes: 3-6
Size Class: 3-6 ft.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White
Bloom Time: Apr , May , Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep
Bloom Notes: Petals absent. Sepals petaloid.


USA: AZ , CO , NM , OK , TX
Native Distribution: Clematis drummondii grows in dry soil along roadsides and in rocky canyons. It climbs by twining over weeds, shrubs, and fences. It is found in central, south, and west Texas.
Native Habitat: Thickets, Canyons Fence rows

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Low
Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist , Dry
Cold Tolerant: yes
Heat Tolerant: yes
Soil Description: Sandy, Sandy Loam, Medium Loam, Clay Loam, Clay, Limestone-based
Conditions Comments: Clematis drummondii can be grown from seed easily, propagated by cuttings which will root from nodes with less success, or transplanted from the field in winter. The plant is hardy and drought tolerant. Notable ornamental features include delicate foliage, long blooming attractive flowers, and interesting feathery seed clusters.


Use Ornamental: Twines on fences & other plants, Attractive, Fruits ornamental
Use Wildlife: Cover, Seeds-granivorous birds, Nesting site.
Use Medicinal: Teas useful for headaches and migraine.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Interesting Foliage: yes
Attracts: Butterflies
Larval Host: Fatal metalmark butterfly.
Deer Resistant: Minimal

Butterflies and Moths of North America (BAMONA)

Clematis drummondii is a larval host and/or nectar source for:
Fatal Metalmark
(Calephelis nemesis)

Larval Host
Learn more at BAMONA

Last Update: 2015-12-01